DID YOU READ

Five more ’80s films that deserve a commercial homage

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Say what you will about Matthew Broderick’s “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”-inspired ad for Honda, but it got everyone talking about his 1986 debut as the slacker hero.

Given the response (mostly positive) to the ad across just about every online social network, it’s safe to say that “Matthew’s Day Off” will go down as a marketing “win” — and when that happens, companies usually take notice and scramble to replicate that success.

As I mentioned in my earlier post about the ad, there are a few other ’80s classics that might be worth revisiting in commercials, and not just because of the nostalgia factor. In some cases, the timing might be just right for a character to be paired up with a particular brand.

1. Val Kilmer shows the “Real Genius” of Apple (or Google).

There was no shortage of movies about nerds who make it big during the ’80s, but Kilmer’s take on Chris Knight made him the undisputed alpha nerd. Not only was he brilliant, but he was effortlessly cool, too — two characteristics that were rarely found in the bespectacled, awkward on-camera nerds of the time. With that in mind, how appropriate would it be to see Chris Knight trying to convince you that buying the iPad 3 is a “moral imperative”? Even better (from a marketing standpoint), have Kilmer (as Chris Knight) sell you on the long list of ways Google can better your life, then take a not-too-subtle swipe at Apple (a la Samsung). Commence flame war heated debate in 3… 2… 1…

2. Cary Elwes has an anti-piracy PSA for “The Princess Bride” fans.

Sure, he started off as the lovable Westley, but he was known the world over as the Dread Pirate Roberts. If movie studios and record labels want to counteract some of the hostility directed at their anti-piracy campaigns, why not trade some of those terrible PSAs and laughably threatening ads for a tongue-in-cheek message from a pirate everyone loves? Have Elwes don the black outfit and mask one more time to explain why people who download movies illegally should be sentenced to life in the Fire Swamp, and then just sit back and watch the message multiply like R.O.U.S. (Rodents Of Unusual Size, of course).

3. Judd Nelson brings back John Bender to promote beer… or jeans… or anything, really.

In “The Breakfast Club,” Judd Nelson almost single-handedly ushered in the grunge era with his role as drug-dealing, denim-wearing, head-banging, authority-defying John Bender. Want to give your product an edge that says “I was bad-ass before being bad-ass was cool”? Get John Bender — or rather, get a long-haired Judd Nelson, dress him in a bunch of flannel and denim (complete with fingerless gloves and unlaced work boots), and have him explain that the only people who would buy your competitor’s product are neo-maxi-zoom-dweebies.

4. Bill S. Preston, Esq. reminds you of the importance of choosing the right cellphone service provider.

Want to convince the world that you really do have the best coverage area? Get in touch with “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” actor Alex Winter (since his co-star Keanu Reeves might be a tough sell right now) and have him reprise his role as Wyld Stallyns co-frontman Bill S. Preston. Sure, they traveled in a phone booth during their “Excellent Adventure” and “Bogus Journey” days, but now they don’t even need to leave their couch to travel through time with Verizon… or AT&T… or whatever company jumps on this idea. STATION!

5. Falkor the Luck Dragon wants you to play the lottery.

If your product encourages people to try their hand at beating the odds, could there be any better spokesperson than Falkor, the furry, flying deus ex machina of “The NeverEnding Story”? Sure, the original film was aimed at children, but those kids who dreamed of being Atreyu are now adults who dream of, well… having lots of money and owning cool stuff. Some people will probably complain about the marketing campaign and say silly stuff like, “this commercial is raping my childhood” and so forth, but that’s just plain ridiculous. Everyone knows that when Falkor told Atreyu “never give up and good luck will find you,” he totally ripped that line from a Lotto ad.

What do you think of these suggestions? Chime in below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”


Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”


But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.

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It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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